JCW MacBryan

J.C.W. MacBryan, who since the War has by consistently fine play earned a place in the front rank of amateur batsmen, was born on the 22nd of July, 1892. To a large extent he learnt his cricket at Exeter School, where he became captain, and in 1911 he was in the Sandhurst eleven under R. St. L. Fowler. Wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Le Cateau on the 26th of August, 1914, MacBryan played a lot of cricket in Holland when interned there as a prisoner of war. On returning home after the war he went up to Cambridge, and was twelfth man in 1919. Playing an innings of 90 against The Navy he would, no doubt, in some years have got his Blue straight away, but Cambridge, though they had no bowling to speak of, possessed an abundance of run-getters. However, MacBryan found an opening in the Somerset team and in that season of ill-starred two-day county matches he made his mark at once, coming out at the top of the county's batting with an average of 28. He got his blue at Cambridge in 1920, and did well for a side that was really strong in batting down to the tenth man. The University match that year was ruined by the weather and, as a matter of fact, ought never to have been commenced. MacBryan had a modest record for Somerset in 1920, but since then he has been the mainstay of the team, heading the averages for four seasons in succession. It was in 1923 that he came to be regarded as something more than a very good county batsman. Chosen at Lord's for The Rest against England in the second of the Test Trials, he more than justified his selection, playing a first innings of 80 and withstanding the England bowling for nearly three hours and a half. Last summer he was picked at Lord's for Gentlemen v. Players. MacBryan is essentially a steady batsman. He is neat and finished in style without being in any way spectacular, and so far from being obsessed, like many of the moderns, by on side play he gets a good proportion of his runs by cutting, this alone making him good to look at. He was at the top of his form all last season, and was a strong candidate for a place in the M.C.C.'s team for Australia. Not being chosen for that trip he went out to South Africa with Mr. Joel's Eleven.

© John Wisden & Co